Monday, 30 July 2007


You know how you start to resemble your parents?

Well, my spiritual father in Christ is Phillip Jensen, and what he does is repeat sermon illustrations. Endlessly. Ongoingly. Moebius strippingly. He is the tape loop of sermon illustrations.

At one stage I was hatching a plot to number his illustrations so that to save time, he would simply need to say "#17", and like the prisoners in the old joke, everyone would burst out laughing. They would know that #17 referred to the chicken crossing the road, they would remember the punchline, and they would respond accordingly.

Alas. Last night, short of time, I found myself rehashing Phillip Jensen #34, the failure of astrology, in which due to changes in calendars and inaccurate original measurements, we are all born under a different zodiac sign than the one supposedly ascribed to us at birth. Hence, we are all at least one out, and the predictions set out for us in the relevant bit of the women's magazine really apply to our neighbour born in the next month.

I added in my own little winkles about only reading horoscopes after the event, in doctors' waiting rooms, but I felt deep within me the shame of my plagiarism.

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Faithful writer

I'm at this conference today, at New college at UNSW.

Come and say hello.

I have to get the family off to various starts, and then will be there for a panel discussion at about 11.

Scientific consensus

Martin didn't like what I said about Einstein, who said that if he was wrong, one naysayer would have been enough.

Whereas I think ripping quotes out of context is fine, as long as you honour the vibe.

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Translating Two Ways to Live

Two Ways to Live, the simple gospel summary that you can find right here, is now available in Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish.

These translations have taken quite a while to come. But there are all sorts of tricky things to be considered here when working for a publisher of small financial means. One of them is, how do you know your translation is really getting across the exact meaning you intend, when you don't speak the target language and you receive sometimes varied advice from those who actually know what they're talking about? I haven't envied Ian Carmichael or Emma this job one little bit.

I live in mortal fear of the day (and so, I think, do Ian and Emma) when an outraged Hungarian picks up the phone to issue a death threat against us for putting out a Hungarian Two Ways to Live that actually says, in translation, "May your underpants be infested with the offspring of a thousand Ethiopian leeches."

Hmm. Perhaps before we put out that translation I'll consult with my good friend and relic of the Austro-Hungarian empire, Andrew Katay.

Though these days, can I even trust Katay? ;-)

knives and lawyers

A friend doesn't have a knifeblock in her kitchen, because her father was a barrister.

Apparently he saw one too many clients who had found the knifeblock within handy reach during break-ins and episodes of domestic violence.

So there's a thought.


I'm on, and I'm looking for friends, especially friends who will send me a fish!

Just put 'Gordon Cheng' into the Facebook search engine and you will find me easily enough.

Edit to add:

Hey everybody,

Thanks for all the fish you keep sending!

I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by peoples' generosity at the moment, so please forgive me if I don't respond to every fish personally.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Mike's great idea

Still on reading big bits of Bible, here's Michael Kellahan's excellent suggestion:

hey gordo

I sometimes read a whole book aloud into ipod recorder then listen back later. Never as smooth as dowloadable versions but the discipline of reading aloud forces you to follow emphasis etc. Revelation took about an hour.

I wish I had the patience to do this. It seems like a superb way to make yourself slow down and pay attention. Doing the Greek (for the New Testament) does this too, especially if like me you're not real good at it.

Monday, 23 July 2007

Reading big bits of Bible

Yes, I finished Isaiah while watching the Tour de France time trials.

dark knight commented:

So did you accomplish the feat?

It wasn't that hard, and I don't say this because I consider myself to be a great reader. The secret for me is to let your eye run over the text fast, and every page or so stop and ask 'do I remember anything at all from the last five minutes of my existence?'

But I realize not everyone is like me. After I suggested this idea at church, 2 people separately came up and told me that they listened to Isaiah on mp3, whether walking, or sitting in a car and driving, or something else. Which is fantastic. There is a snobbishness associated with literacy that Christians mustn't buy into.

oh—not suggesting the people who spoke to me were illiterate! But the fact that I feel I need to say that says something about how highly we prize literacy.

The original hearers of the prophecies were most likely illiterate (the ones that weren't royalty), and I love it that technology has given us the means of coping with that in a way that not only isn't embarrassing, but even brings us closer to the experience of the original hearers.

Although I will keep reading, because I'm impatient and because it is faster and more precise if you have a memory as dodgy as mine.

dark knight also said

One of the best tips for exegesis I ever picked up was to read a whole work through in one go. I once read Luke-Acts that way, it was great. I suspect Luke churned out more words than all of the Isaiahs put together.

Yes, isn't this a brilliant idea. It is a way of letting ourselves be captivated by the text, as Harry Potter readers know.

By the way have you read Robert Tannehill on Luke-Acts? Spellbinding.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Bible study leaders

Just had a meeting with most of the Bible study leaders of 5 o'clock church.

These guys are the absolute backbone and ribcage of the church (Christ is the head and heart!)

Thanks for all your work and may God bless and sustain you. Thanks Alan and Lynne for your repeated and ongoing hospitality.

Saturday, 21 July 2007


In the last few weeks I am finding a lot of comfort from these words of Jesus:

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

It's Matthew 6:34, the ESV translation.

In my own mind I translate it into an injunction to believe that the world will end at midnight, and my Lord Jesus will return at that moment (less than three hours now) to put things right.

Isaiah and Harry Potter

Tomorrow I'm preaching an overview of Isaiah, shamelessly pilfered from Barry Webb's commentary in the BST series. I don't mind stealing ideas, as every single thought that I've ever had comes from someone else and if it didn't, I would be forced to stop thinking. I don't do 'original'.

But I do feel vaguely embarrassed about doing an overview of Isaiah without having read it in recent times. And if Fifi can read the whole of Harry Plotter tonight, then I can manage Isaiah. Isaiah has 66 chapters and in my Bible only goes for 76 pages, a lot of which is poetry. Which I reckon is just a way of fooling people into thinking that you have a fatter book than you actually do.

So ask me tomorrow if I managed. Tour de France will be on the telly in the background.

Friday, 20 July 2007

Prediction time

Lots of articles inspired by events surrounding the coming Howard bio. Here's one.

If the Liberals lose, then John Howard's gone. That's a no-brainer.

But I think the Liberals will hold on to power, and Costello will stay.

Thursday, 19 July 2007


Isaiah has two beginnings—chapter 1 and chapter 6. Why?

Proverbs and Peter Costello

I found a proverb I never heard before, and quite like. It's from this article.

"The dogs bark", says Peter, "but the caravan moves on."

A nice way of putting it.

The article from which the quote comes from, however, reminds the reader that not all is happiness and light in the land of Liberal leadership.


In another place recently I managed to annoy a dapper but blackhearted man, let’s call him Tennessee, sufficiently to incite him to the point of using his not inconsiderable powers of irony upon me. He compared me to an Old Testament prophet in a drawing room—a polite environment where questions of ethics normally are kept deeply buried (not just swept) under the most tasteful of carpets. The Archbishop of Canterbury would understand and approve the analogy, though he might speak instead of a Nigerian at Lambeth Palace.

Whether either the label or the irony was misplaced in my case, I’m in no position to judge. But in the providence of God I stumbled upon this wonderful passage in Barry G. Webb’s commentary on Isaiah. I quote at length:

Through all this Isaiah clung to the truth that had been etched into his consciousness by his call. In the year that king Uzziah died he had seen the King, high and exalted, and the whole earth full of his glory. So when Senaccherib’s men stood at the gates and proclaimed, in the name of ‘the great king, the king of Assyria’, that Jerusalem was utterly at his mercy, then Isaiah knew it was a lie. The truth behind appearances was that the Lord himself was the supreme ruler, and would determine the fate of Assyria and Judah alike. Isaiah lived by the old creed. Ahaz and Hezekiah found it hard to translate into practical politics, the common people gave it only lip-service, and Senaccherib mocked it as madness, but Isaiah charted his course by it.

The meagre biographical details we have indicate how completely Isaiah’s mission dominated and consumed him. Jerusalem, which featured so much in his preaching, was his home city. His ready access to the king suggested that he was high born and moved in the most elite circles. Yet there was nothing effete or fawning about him. His presence was a constant reminder that royal power was not absolute, and privilege entailed heavy responsibility. His tense confrontation with Ahaz in chapter 7, for example, speaks volumes for his courage and unswerving commitment and to his high calling, qualities that were eventually to cost him his life. His wife is called ‘the prophetess’ in 8:3, suggesting that she, too, prophesied. Certainly she did so indirectly, for she bore sons to Isaiah whose symbolic names expressed key aspects of his message. Beyond this, we know nothing of his family life, what solace he drew from it, or what strains it suffered. All we know is that he was not a divided person; his call impacted and shaped his home life as it did every sphere he moved in. We catch a glimpse in 8:16-18 of a small band of disciples gathering around him, with a strong suggestion that it included his sons. That, at least, must have been a tremendous comfort to him and a most fitting reward for his faithfulness.

Barry Webb, The Message of Isaiah (Leicester: IVP, 1996), pp. 24-25

It is a great commentary, and has to be one of the first you go to once you've struggled with Isaiah for a while. And Isaiah, too, was a very great prophet.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Those were the days...

"The weather was too hot or too cold. Heating meant a two-bar radiator that only succeeded in warming children when they were on fire."

-Jenny Tabakoff. From an article in today's smh.

throwing up

I woke at 4 am to hear the sound of a small child crying. I went in to see how she was and in a largely befuddled state managed to help Lily just as she was starting to sick up. Not a big one, just enough to mean bedsheets and warm top needed cleaning. I took her back to our bed and she slept between Fi and me.

Nothing like waking at 4 to remind you that it's the coldest winter in 21 years.

Ruby really wanted to go back to school though, so she did.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Clerical abuse

Barney Zwartz is spot on in his attitude to clerical sex abuse. The Roman Catholic archdiocese of Los Angeles has now agreed to pay $US 660 million to 508 victims.

From the article:

That the abuse happened is bad enough — especially by people in a position of trust and charged with pastoral care — but most of us would not be amazed to find the odd rotten apple in such a large barrel as the several hundred thousand Catholic priests around the world. What is truly appalling is the way the church hierarchy connived and concealed and covered up, apparently much more concerned for the perpetrators and the church's own standing than for the victims.

Monday, 16 July 2007

Biddulph on child care

Great opinion piece by Steve Biddulph on paid child 'care'.

I wouldn't want one of my children in one of these places.

Abuse of aborigines

It isn't just happening in the Northern Territory.

We ought to pray for indigenous Christians and other Christians who are directly involved with them, that they may be able to continue to battle against these situations, and that the Federal government's interventions will be wise.

Fast food after church

Thanks especially Chris and Paula for organizing a great pizza feed last night. Gluten free too! I don't quite know how that works with pizza, but it obviously can.

Chris had the system worked out. You order 20 pizzas before church. You advertise the presence of pizzas after church. You sign people up ($10 each thanks) after church. Then, if you need another say 5 or 10 pizzas, you phone the pizza place back and add the relevant number. That way you give the pizza people plenty of time to prepare for the pizza rush, and you still make sure that there is exactly the right number for what you are planning. $10 is pretty fine when drinks and garlic bread are included; they were good pizzas and the pizza people were happy too. Plenty of left-overs for the next congregation's supper or to take home for brekky, no-one went hungry.

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Bethlehem's got talent

I'm drafting a possible Christmas tract called 'Bethlehem's got talent'. Here's how it starts...

I can’t stand talent quests. They are embarrassing, mean, amateurish and weird by turns. The best you can hope will happen is that the person won’t be too excruciatingly bad, and that the judges will let them slip back to obscurity with an absolute minimum of psychological scarring and emotional abuse.

However, all that said, have you seen Paul Potts?

If not, don’t read past the end of this paragraph until you’ve got to a computer with a decent connection, fired up the internet and googled ‘You tube Paul Potts’. I don’t think I’m giving anything away when I tell you that this one is a shocker. But wait about half way through this You Tube video clip of just under five minutes, and you’ll discover a surprise that makes his humiliating experience worthwhile.

Those who have watched the clip or heard the story will know that Paul Potts is the man who worked for Carphone Warehouse and went on the UK talent quest Britain’s Got Talent, dressed in a bad suit, awful haircut, and carrying a facial expression that said louder than words ‘I’m about to get punched in the nose…again.’ Says the lady judge “Paul. What are you here for?” “To sing opera” says Paul, looking for all the world as if he is about to burst into tears, not song.

Can you guess the ending?

In fact, given that this is only a first draft, if your ending is better than mine, I may steal yours! ;-)

Melbourne friends

We spent ten years in Melbourne from 1989-1999, leaving just after Matilda was born to come back to Pymble.

We have some wonderful friends from those years. Some, like the Pfahlerts, have even joined us in Sydney!

Today the Bulmans visit for lunch. I'm thinking pumpkin soup but may change my mind.

Scientific consensus and Einstein

Einstein wasn't much one for consensus, scientific or otherwise. In 1931 a tract appeared entitled "100 Authors against Einstein". His response was "If I were wrong, one would be enough."

People concerned about global warming like to point to the question of consensus. I tend to think that in the area of forecasting 100 year trends, in climate or otherwise, it is not something of more than marginal significance.

I for one am pleased that Einstein didn't let himself be guided by the scientific consensus on the speed of light.

Friday, 13 July 2007

Australian Federal Election

The Oz federal election is going to be fascinating. Quote from Phillip Coorey in today's SMH.

Kevin Rudd is obsessive but he is not crazy. Nor is he lazy. Since assuming the leadership, he has been as busy as a one-legged man at a bum-kicking contest.

Unlike 2001 with Beazley at the head of Labor, the Libs are facing defeat as a real option.

Thursday, 12 July 2007


Now she's sick! (Has been for the last couple of days).

Fifi, Lily and I are just waiting in line for our turn.

Tim R's slogan question

Tim R asks a good question about my post on slogans, here.

Tim, I think that rightly understood the maturity of individual Christians is inseparable from the growing of the gospel message throughout the world.

Let me take slight issue with this bit of your quote:

...[it's not that] Paul is not concerned or involved in the sending of others and the spreading of the gospel, he does, however seem strongly concerned for the maturity of the individual, that the "end point" (I'm not sure I like my term) of the Church should be to present all perfect in Christ, mature in Him, to see that all finish running the race, to receive the crown etc. etc.

[italics mine]

Is this really the church's end point? I am not sure it is. If the church has a purpose

(and one of my favourite theologians, Broughton Knox, said the church has no purpose at all, it is the purpose—not an exact quote)

then it is to bring glory to God through his son Jesus Christ.

See Ephesians 1, esp vv 3-14, esp within them vv 8-9, and esp vv 20-23 and within them esp v 23—oh ok then, let's say especially the whole chapter!

Then when you continue his argument on into chapter 2 and chapter 3, you find at the climax of the argument towards the end of Ephesians 3 the following:

Eph. 3:7 Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. 8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.

and then again

Eph. 3:14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Eph. 3:20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

You see here in Ephesians 3 that glory to God comes through the church and is revealed to the whole of creation ("rulers and authorities in the heavenly places"—but if them, then everyone and everything).

So the point at issue is how we bring glory to God (soli Deo Gloria, one of the five great Reformation slogans). And this happens, in Ephesians and elsewhere, as we know him and proclaim him in the world. (Knowing will of course involve growing, or it is not true knowing).

I may be stretching, but is one of your interests in asking that you are concerned about doing evangelism in church meetings versus looking after the regulars by giving in-depth teaching and doing other things that will cater for their needs? If not, then feel free to ignore this as a silly question on my part. I have no idea whether it reflects your current situation!

Oh, and here is a great passage about what it's all about, 'it' including the church, I believe. It's Paul writing in 1 Corinthians:

15:20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

You see? The glory of God, manifested only in and through the glory of the Son, in fulfilment of the Son's prayer in John 17.

Now, it may be that God's "end point" (as you describe it) for us is that we be presented mature in Christ and so on. that's in Ephesians 5:21-31, Revelation 21:1-8, and elsewhere. But again, he does this for his own glory, not us. His love has no basis whatsoever in the righteousness of the ones he loves. (cf. Deut 7:6-8)

Oh, and if I remember I will get Fifi's recipe for that mince. I think the magic ingredient is red lentils. Thanks again for looking after our place.

Hey BTW yours is the first blog I've ever seen that is all profile and no blog! Great collection of music, I must work my way through the list with the help of the local library.

PS Have you seen our can opener?

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Death in Islamabad

This morning I heard a Muslim cleric on the radio, the leader of a group that attacked and took hold of the Red Mosque in Islamabad. He was being interviewed but broke it off because the room that he was in was starting to fill with smoke.

I don't know who this man was and I've never heard of him. Perhaps in Pakistan he is a hero along the lines of Robin Hood, or some kind of anti-hero like Ned Kelly or one of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

He told the interviewer that if he was killed, then his soldiers would not rest until the families of the perpetrators of his death were all themselves dead.

Well, he's dead now. The interview was recorded just before he was shot "in crossfire", according to the Pakistani government. The fighting at the mosque continues, with snipers shooting at each other from the minarets.

It is awful stuff, and completely alien to me. It makes me worry for the friends I have in Pakistan. It also makes me wonder if there is any Christian cleric in any mainstream denomination in the world who, like this Muslim cleric, would threaten to kill the families of soldiers that were trying to kill him.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Emperor Nasi Goreng

Text reads: Built by Emperor Nasi Goreng, to keep the rabbits out

(Thanks Tim Blair, via CraigS...)

Sesame Street retains its satirical edge

I paraphrase from this morning's episode, currently being watched by Matilda and Lily.

Grumpy Customer: What's this?!
Grover: There you are sir, stirred not shaken, just like you asked for!
GC: Why does this always happen to me? I asked for my milkshake shaken, not stirred!!

This happens to me all the time. Homer: "It's funny because it's true."

Hell, no!

The Roman Catholics don't want Hell in their schools.


The existence of Scientology testifies to our incapacity to think rationally.

A very sad article in today's Sydney Morning Herald.

The Bible's perspective:

The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

-2 Thessalonians 1:9-12.

The Tour has started

The Tour de France, I mean. Apart from the Boxing Day Cricket Test, this is one of my favourite sporting times of the year these days. Sure, they may be drugged-up freaks whose bodies will fall apart at age 45 because of self-inflicted substance abuse, but what a great cycling race! And you can't beat the scenery. The views of passing castles are sensational.

I may actually be able to get some work done if I sit in front of the telly with my laptop at the same time.

Monday, 9 July 2007

Uncle David

We interviewed my cousin, Alison Doughty (we share an uncle) in church last night. It was a great testimony to God's provision of contentment for her, working in a polluted city with a difficult bunch of students in Thailand.

Talking to her afterwards she told me how Uncle David (Cheng) and his wife, Aunt Jennifer, used to be shunned and avoided in Bondi in the 1950s, because it was a mixed marriage—he an Australian born Chinese, she a fully Anglo Australian.

I've never heard a whisper of bitterness from either of them on this subject, or for that matter from my parents. Although mum had endless complaints about Australians; their habits, their lack of frugality, their casualness, their misuse and abuse of the English language. So if anything I grew up as a Swede thinking racist thoughts about Anglo Australians.

Welcoming, growing, sending...

This is the slogan we use at 5.00 church at St Paul's Carlingford, inherited from somewhere or other and invented by I don't know who!

I have no idea whether it is the world's best slogan, and it's not something I spend a great deal of time thinking about. But like all slogans that actually work, it's pretty good if you explain it the right way.

You are welcomed into the church by being welcomed into relationship with God through the once-for-all sufficient sacrifice of Jesus' blood shed on the cross.

The church grows numerically as people hear about Jesus, put their trust in him and join us. People grow in the knowledge and love of God as they hear his word and as we pray for each other.

We send people into the mission field and into other churches, so that they can keep praising God for his salvation from sin and seeing people welcomed into relationship with him.

The risk and temptation is to take a slogan like the one we have, and turn it into a description of friendly activities and a good vibe, at which point we are simply a community service organization or a group that has a common hobby. I think I'm tempted to describe the church in ways that don't even mention Jesus (and you'll notice that 'welcoming, growing, sending' doesn't!). It sounds friendlier and less terrifying, and manages in one fell swoop to lose our reason for being.

Ship of Fools book recommendations

The UK based bulletin board Ship of Fools can be a lot of fun if you confine yourself to the 'Heaven' section (unsuspecting Bible-believing readers, beware of other parts).

I started a thread called Books for 8 year olds and have been getting heaps of excellent suggestions.

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Daughter's bed

So my 8 y.o. is sick, and wanted to sleep with her mum, which is fair enough especially when your own bed is a bunk bed and you have to climb a ladder to get into it.

(anyone want to buy a wooden bunk bed?)

I'm normally not in the habit of checking out my daughter's bed very closely, especially given that you have to climb a ladder to see it, but last night I had to sleep there, and discovered that she had started a library.

As well as Dave the Bear and a wrapper from a Starburst lolly, there were multiple piles of books.

I brought them down the ladder, and thought you might like a list of what I found.

Rudyard Kipling, Just So Stories.
Kate Forsyth, The Gypsy Crown.
Jughead's Double Digest Magazine.
Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton, The Bad Book.
Jean Little, Lost and Found.
Dan Pilkey, The Captain Underpants Extra-Crunchy Book O' Fun.
Paul Jennings, Round the Twist.
Paul Jennings, Uncanny.
Rachel Flynn, I Hate Fridays: Stories from Koala Hills Primary School.
Jacqueline Wilson, Vicky Angel.
Kate Forsyth, The Silver Horse.
The Kid-Builder Bible For Young Readers.
Emily Rodda, The Flower Fairies.
Joyce Lankester Brisley, Milly-Molly-Mandy's Adventures.
Joyce Lankester Brisley, Milly-Molly-Mandy's Family.
Joyce Lankester Brisley, Milly-Molly-Mandy's Schooldays.
Joyce Lankester Brisley, Milly-Molly-Mandy's Friends.
Paul Jennings, Quirky Tails.
Julia Donaldson, Crazy Mayonnaisy Mum.
Andy Griffiths, Just Stupid!

That's a lot to carry down a ladder when you just want to have a sleep!!

Friday, 6 July 2007

well she's sick

Yep, Matilda's sick. Flu.

While visiting Fifi's mum in Austi Matilda drew a detailed map of a place called Belltown, with houses; streets; animals including chickens, cows, pigs; a river which disappeared underground but was to reappear off the map...

On the drive home we were held up in traffic on Ryde Bridge. The Wisdom toothbrush factory I remember driving past as a four year old in my parent's VW bug was burning down.

Discipleship is what I'm thinking about. Jesus' command to make disciples is for everyone, and brooks no opposition. "All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me".

Sick daughter

Will head back to Sydney today, try to see a doc. Hmm, better get off the internet and make a phone call.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

In Austinmer, working.

We decided to go to Austinmer to see Fifi's mum. The girls love it here, we like seeing her and she enjoys seeing her grand-daughters.

I'm still working, but. Late last night I sent off the last in a late-version draft of Romans 6-11 Bible studies for Matthias Media. I already did Romans 1-5, but these studies are the first in a new format for the Interactive Bible Studies, the first reworking of the format in about 20 years. I think they will be easier to follow and more manageable for the average Bible study group.

Now I need to get cracking on the Ministry Training Strategy project, writing up a training manual for people who are training ministry apprentices.

It's good to be working in a different place though. Nice family time, v cold weather but a good change of scene. The roof nearly blew off the balcony last night, so that was a bit of excitement.

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Our house, our daughter, our piano, our dog?

Hey Tim, thanks for looking after our house for a couple of days while we go off and visit Fifi's mum. If we come back and there's one hole-digging dog less to be found, well, you know, who's counting.

Oh, and if you want to see the newspaper photos of our daughter playing the piano, go here, click on 'home use' and search for 'lily cheng'.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Standover tactics

What I'm using to get my four year old to eat breakfast at the moment.

Monday, 2 July 2007

The gospel goes out in Kashmir

There was a big earthquake in this part of the world in 2005, which killed many. 17 000 schoolchildren died!

Friends of mine, M. and N. are in there delivering aid to Muslims; a Christian presence in an area that has had nothing like this. Well, M. is there; N. is home with the family in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, back in Pakistan, Muslims are trying to kill Christians.

My friends are continuing fearlessly, since perfect love drives out fear. Pray for them! It would be easy to be frightened.